Title: The Vampire Diaries S6.E17 “A Bird in a Gilded Cage”
Released: 2015

Previously: Damon realized that his mom was a crazy ripper and is trapped in her own prison world, Enzo wants to make Sarah a vampire, Jo and Alaric are engaged and expecting a baby and Caroline bribed Stefan into also shutting off his humanity.

GEEZ you guys, I’m so sorry this is late! I had a MONSTER of a cold all week and I’m still trying to get back to a normal sleep routine. But enough about me – let’s dish!

Caroline is cleaning up the campus bar from the night before because, humanity or no, she is STILL Caroline Forbes. Enzo shows up to collect his cell phone and she gleefully tells him how she used poor Sarah in order to get Stefan to also turn off his humanity. Enzo can’t help but be impressed even if it does put a wrench in his terrible, pointless revenge plan for Stefan. Caroline tells Enzo she has to leave because she has an audition to make.

Damon is at Chez Salvatore when Stefan strolls in looking for Jeremy’s old weapon stash. Turns out he’s not too thrilled at being forced to flip his switch and he’s damn well not going to let Caroline just pretend to live a normal life with all of her checks and balances in place to keep her on the straight and narrow. Damon attempts to drug Stefan but Stefan is too quick and all Damon gets for his brotherly concern is a broken hand.

Sarah is recovering in the hospital, having been healed and compelled to forget by Elena, and Dr. Jo is looking after her. She’s not super happy about having to hold Sarah but Alaric reminds her that she needs to be kept safe until the vampire blood is out of her system.

Damon is Working Through His Anger Issues by smashing furniture and wakes up Elena. He shows her the video camera with the footage of his mother and of course Elena is the one to realize that Mama Salvatore could be Stefan’s emotional trigger. Damon makes mention that Stefan always was a “mama’s boy”. They need Kai and Bonnie so this is going to be a problem. Bonnie is still (rightfully) pissed about Damon throwing Kai at her the night before. She finally agrees to meet with Kai who has already obtained the ascendant needed to travel to Mama Salvatore’s snowy prison world. He asks Bonnie to go along as well, reminding her that she’s not safe rooming with the New Caroline who would snap her neck for mixing her colors with her whites on laundry day.

Bonnie agrees to go along, which doesn’t make sense unless she has an ulterior motive. Which she does. More on that later. ANYway, now that they have TWO witches taking them back Elena decides that she’s going to tag along as well. She’s ridiculously excited about meeting the woman who gave birth to her two epic loves (that’s going to make for an interesting fireside chat). When they arrive Kai and Bonnie go to look for the ascendant of that world since the one that they used didn’t travel back with them. Damon and Elena go to Mama Salvatore’s cabin.

Caroline is at her audition, singing her heart out and even managing to shed what I think is an ACTUAL tear, and not just a stage tear. All we need is for Caroline Forbes to sing a bunch of sad show tunes and her switch will flip, y’all! “MEMORRYYYYY, ALL ALONE IN THE MOOOONLIGHTTTT!”

She’s pretty sure she’s sealed the deal but can’t get a response from the director. That would be because Stefan ripped his head off and now is sending it tumbling down the auditorium. DAMN. He tells her that she doesn’t get to have her normal life after what she did to him and for the rest of the episode there’s back-and-forth hijinx including Caroline taking apart his motorcycle (not bad) and Stefan ripping open a co-ed’s neck to trigger Caroline’s bloodlust (definitely a baller move).

Enzo shows up to Alaric’s office just as he gets off the phone with Jo; she’s agreed to give him veto power over baby names. That’s really how it should be, don’t you think? I do. So Enzo wants Alaric to help him rein in Caroline and Stefan. Alaric reminds him that he’s a human now as well as an expectant father. It only takes Enzo calling him a coward for Alaric to agree to weapon up and head out. As they hunt Stefan and Caroline down in the dorms Alaric drops a truth bomb on Enzo about how sad, pathetic and lonely he is and FINALLY Enzo realizes that he’s been trapped in a pointless, annoying plotline. Then Alaric accidentally knocks over an ACTUAL vervane bomb and explosions ensue.

Back at the Prison World Cabin Elena is cooing over baby pictures of Damon and Stefan. Damon is not moved. I think he may just have a few anger and abandonment issues to work through here. Lily finally arrives and it’s all very civil, her serving them tea and telling them of how she came to be in the prison world. She makes no mention of being a ripper and Damon is suspicious. She manages to stay alive by trolling slaughterhouses for animal blood and subsists on two drops a week. Now we know where Stefan gets his knack for teetotaling. She lets out a small laugh when Damon blurts out that Stefan murdered their father; turns out she had no love for the pompous old windbag and could care less that he died. She asks about Stefan and they explain why they need her to return. She’s happy to help except that she also has a cartel of mostly-dessicated vampires she wants to take with her. Um, what?

Bonnie is leading Kai further and further into the woods, supposedly to look for the ascendant. She doesn’t buy that he has any goodness in him. Even if that’s true the old Kai comes creeping out when she doesn’t immediately respond to his demand for forgiveness. Bonnie looks at him like, “I see you, Kai. I see you.” I love this new no-shit-taking Bonnie, guys.

Not even this face can melt our Bonnie’s reserve.

Lily explains to Damon and Elena that this surrogate family of vampires are who saved her from her ripper self. They sacrificed their blood rations so that she could stay alive in the hopes that they would one day be rescued/escape and then she could revive them. Damon isn’t trying to bring home a posse of old vampires and so he lies to his mother, telling him that they’ll return for her family. Elena finds the ascendant and Damon finally realizes why Bonnie agreed to come along.

It’s because she wants to kill Kai! She nearly succeeds by stabbing him except he’s so good at that tricky disappearing act and so he actually only gets STUCK in the prison world with a bunch of very hungry vampires! EVEN BETTER.

Caroline convinces Stefan that they definitely should not kill Alaric or Enzo and so instead Stefan snacks on the poor co-ed. So much for the dorms being empty during spring break! Sports team gotta sports! Stefan finally gets what he wants – a bloodthirsty Caroline. And then they have sex up against the soda machine. And in Caroline’s dorm room after they bleed the poor co-ed dry.

Lily is sitting in front of a computer at Chez Salvatore and trying to connect with Damon, who’s having none of it. Keep trying, Mama Salvatore. You’ll crack that shell eventually! She confesses that she left them to keep them safe, that she did indeed visit Stefan the night of her funeral and all she wanted was to feed on his warm little neck.

Elena is determined that Damon try to get to know his mother better. Hot making out ensues only to be interrupted by Bonnie who wants to talk to Damon alone. She’s there to give him a gift that she picked up on her travels in 1994 – THE CURE! TWIST! And she’s not there to judge if he doesn’t want to offer it to Elena either. I mean, sure, it would be shitty if he didn’t let ELENA make that choice for herself but now all I can wonder is WHO IS GOING TO GET IT?


  • “I will stop at nothing to maintain my routine.” Is there anyone more tightly wound than Caroline?

  • “Anything I should know…anything you want to…talk about, bro to bro?” LOL. Damon is SO subtle.

  • “If I give you my blood would you just…get out of my face?” “Probably.” I’m so glad Damon and Bonnie aren’t fighting anymore. WHEW.

  • “This is me, undoing your routine. Forcing you to let go. One day at a time…until you break.” Ripper Stefan -1, F*cks To Give – 0.

  • “You have really nice palms.” LOL WUT Kai??

  • So you want Stefan’s humanity back so you can remind him how much you two hate each other?” Yeah Enzo. You need to find a better life’s purpose, mate.

  • “Are you kidding me, she has a vampire dollhouse!” Damon’s crazy-o-meter is STRONG.

  • “It’s never a waste of time to look for the good in someone.” Very true, Elena. Although I find you a bit…vanilla these days. I can see why so many people are shipping Bamon. That must also be why the writers wanted to remind us of how hot and heavy you and Damon can get:

So what did you guys think? Are you over Damon and Elena and ready for some new LURRRVE on Damon’s horizon? Who do you think will get the cure? Will Mama Salvatore totally lose her shit once she realizes that Damon never intended to bring back her peeps? At least we can all be thankful that Enzo can MOVE ON from that boring-ass plotline.

About the Contributor:

Amanda Reid is an East Coast girl living in California who will never stop missing a true autumn. She’s a bookseller who specializes in kid and teen lit, and she bakes a damn fine pie.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.